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Old 07-21-2018, 05:41 PM   #1
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Help with electrical question ?

We have solar installed and do have a switch to cut solar power off and the solar going to battery 2 switches
I want to desulfate the batteries and hooked up a stand alone battery charger that is using 120
If we are hooked up to charger or the house charger converter , do we shut down the solar charging ?
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated . Pat
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:46 PM   #2
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I don’t see any reason to shut solar off to perform this task using an exterior charger, but neither would it hurt to do so. But I must ask, why not use your solar system to desulfate/equalize? Maybe you have a PWM controller that isn’t up to the task?
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:20 PM   #3
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I don’t see any reason to shut solar off to perform this task using an exterior charger, but neither would it hurt to do so. But I must ask, why not use your solar system to desulfate/equalize? Maybe you have a PWM controller that isn’t up to the task?
The controller is a MMPT . I know it equalizes but not sure if it desulfates ? Today when I hooked up to the battery tender 128CEC1 with solar connected to battery it was charging real fast . The external charger works a lot better then the trailer 3 stage charger . The solar has the batteries charged and most of the time are in float . But I know the desulfate is important particular our batteries 6 volt are now 5 years old . Pat
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:49 PM   #4
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Help with electrical question ?

Equalization is desulfation. Same thing

Can you force your MPPT into equalization mode, or does it do it automatically on its own? Either way, if it does an equalization every month or so you have it covered. I think Interstate recommends every 30 to 45 days or somesuch.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:30 PM   #5
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Equalization is desulfation. Same thing

Can you force your MPPT into equalization mode, or does it do it automatically on its own? Either way, if it does an equalization every month or so you have it covered. I think Interstate recommends every 30 to 45 days or somesuch.
When I have checked I see it goes into equalization I think once a month automatically. So It sounds like just let the Solar do it's job . I am new at this so I wasn't sure . The batteries are 5 years now so I am trying to get all the life out of them I can and want to do the right thing . I found I should check the water more , I had to add a bit today, which was more then I usually had to add but I was more on top of that before the solar .
I do also have settings I think I can change if I need to do the equalization more , but I did see that it did . The solar charger is a Victron . Pat
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:56 PM   #6
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To get maximum life out of your batteries, which means both longest working life as well as maximum usable amps at any given time (batteries fully charged instead of only partially), I recommend following your battery manufacturer’s recommendations as closely as possible. Most people are unable to do this, however, unless they upgrade to an MPPT Charger, because neither the WFCO converter/charger, nor the factory GoPower PWM solar charger can achieve the voltages that Interstate recommends. So you are in luck. With a little bit of programming for the right voltages you will be doing everything you can for max power and max life. Well, even one step better is if your Victron can be outfitted with a temperature probe to do temperature compensation, as the voltage requirements change with the batteries’ temperature.

For the current batteries Escape is installing, Interstate recommends 13.2V float, 14.8V absorption, and 15.6V equalization. If your batteries are 5 years old, they are probably a slightly different model, so your voltages may be a bit different.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:03 PM   #7
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To get maximum life out of your batteries, which means both longest working life as well as maximum usable amps at any given time (batteries fully charged instead of only partially), I recommend following your battery manufacturer’s recommendations as closely as possible. Most people are unable to do this, however, unless they upgrade to an MPPT Charger, because neither the WFCO converter/charger, nor the factory GoPower PWM solar charger can achieve the voltages that Interstate recommends. So you are in luck. With a little bit of programming for the right voltages you will be doing everything you can for max power and max life. Well, even one step better is if your Victron can be outfitted with a temperature probe to do temperature compensation, as the voltage requirements change with the batteries’ temperature.

For the current batteries Escape is installing, Interstate recommends 13.2V float, 14.8V absorption, and 15.6V equalization. If your batteries are 5 years old, they are probably a slightly different model, so your voltages may be a bit different.
I did see on the Victron website about a new temp probe I may be able to use .the battery tender I have does have that temp probe on it . So I just let the Solar do it's work . One more question leave solar charging if I am hooked up to 120 at home to start refrigerator ? Also campground connected to power pole ? Pat
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:02 AM   #8
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Help with electrical question ?

I’m not aware of any reason to turn off solar under normal operating conditions, including while hooked up to shore power, either at home or on the road, though during certain maintenance or repair tasks you would want to shut it off. Perhaps some of our smarter electrical gurus have deeper thoughts on this.
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:01 AM   #9
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I’m not aware of any reason to turn off solar under normal operating conditions, including while hooked up to shore power, either at home or on the road, though during certain maintenance or repair tasks you would want to shut it off. Perhaps some of our smarter electrical gurus have deeper thoughts on this.
Thankyou for your help today ! Solar it is ! Pat
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:20 AM   #10
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Pat we have never turned our solar off even when plugged in for extended periods of time.
We also have the solar controller set to manual equalization which I will do on a good sunny day as I could see no point in having it programmed and going off on a day that’s cloudy or your in a heavily treed campsite.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:08 AM   #11
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Pat we have never turned our solar off even when plugged in for extended periods of time.
We also have the solar controller set to manual equalization which I will do on a good sunny day as I could see no point in having it programmed and going off on a day that’s cloudy or your in a heavily treed campsite.
Thanks Doug ! Pat. Doug I just looked and I have the equalization set to every 14 days . I can change it +or- I think I need to keep it on auto because I would forget otherwise . Do I have it set pretty good ? Pat
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:16 PM   #12
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Pat, I think equalizing every two weeks is probably too much, and would explain why you have to add water so often. I’m pretty sure Interstate’s specs are equalize every 30-45 days. Just tried to find their source document to confirm this but Interstate’s technical support on their website isn’t especially user friendly.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:09 AM   #13
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Pat, I think equalizing every two weeks is probably too much, and would explain why you have to add water so often. I’m pretty sure Interstate’s specs are equalize every 30-45 days. Just tried to find their source document to confirm this but Interstate’s technical support on their website isn’t especially user friendly.
Ok I can change it to every 30 days instead . Thankyou . Pat
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:05 AM   #14
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Equalizing is recommended when your batteries have had several deep discharges. Several deep discharges would be defined as five to ten when your battery is below 50%. Some recommend doing it every month to every year but the correct frequency is determined by those deep discharges when the sulfate can build up.

It is very difficult to perform an equalization on the dual six volt Interstate batteries, achieving the necessary 15.6 voltage for two hours is possible from a very few devices. To my knowledge there are only two methods: first, a limited number of solar controllers have the ability to product these charges. Blue Sky and Trimetric are the two brands that I am aware of. Second, is the method claimed by the Battery Tender. I do not fully understand the pulsating process that they are using but their claims are, it does equalization. Based on my experience using solar to do equalization, it requires at least 160 watts of solar panel and thick gauge wire (10 or smaller) through out the install. With 160 watts it may only be possible in the summer months with lots of sun.

The Go Power solar controller that Escape installs and the WFCO converter used in all models of Escape do not do equalization. My recommendation is that if you are limiting your batteries from dropping below 50% there are better uses of your time than worrying about equalization.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:40 AM   #15
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Progressive Dynamics makes a power converter that replaces the one in the WFCO. They claim their Charge Wizard will keep a battery desulfated. A number of members on the Lance forum swear by it. However, I don't believe it will desulfate a battery once the damage is done.

Enjoy,

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Old 07-23-2018, 08:51 AM   #16
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I have similar reservations about the Battery Tender and their claim to perform an equalization. Since the definition of equalization by Interstate is applying 15.6 volts for two hours, can it be done using another method? I do not believe the Battery Tender produces those voltages, perhaps the same is true for the Progressive Dynamics. So how does it then perform and meet the definition of equalization?

There are a number of users of this forum that are using the Battery Tender for maintenance of their battery while stored. There have been many positive comments. But how can one tell if it reduces or eliminates the sulfate build up?
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:55 AM   #17
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With my 160w solar, in the 4 years I've had it, I can recall only one time the batteries have discharged even close to 50%.

I've initiated a, equalization maybe twice a year. And then as Paul describes, you have to have the correct conditions and controller settings to produce enough voltage to run the cycle.

The process on the Trimetrics requires the batteries be down to lower then something like 95% to initiate the process, it then charges to 100%, thereafter initiating the actiual equalization at whatever your setting calls for. Going from 95% to 100% takes a good while, then you need enough sunlight to produce the 15.6v for the 2-4 hours the equalization takes.

Works better if I hookup the 100w of portable and keep it pointing at the sun. I imagine those with multiple panels, extra portables, or tilting, would have no issues, if you have a good controller.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:24 AM   #18
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Equalizing is recommended when your batteries have had several deep discharges. Several deep discharges would be defined as five to ten when your battery is below 50%. Some recommend doing it every month to every year but the correct frequency is determined by those deep discharges when the sulfate can build up.

It is very difficult to perform an equalization on the dual six volt Interstate batteries, achieving the necessary 15.6 voltage for two hours is possible from a very few devices. To my knowledge there are only two methods: first, a limited number of solar controllers have the ability to product these charges. Blue Sky and Trimetric are the two brands that I am aware of. Second, is the method claimed by the Battery Tender. I do not fully understand the pulsating process that they are using but their claims are, it does equalization. Based on my experience using solar to do equalization, it requires at least 160 watts of solar panel and thick gauge wire (10 or smaller) through out the install. With 160 watts it may only be possible in the summer months with lots of sun.

The Go Power solar controller that Escape installs and the WFCO converter used in all models of Escape do not do equalization. My recommendation is that if you are limiting your batteries from dropping below 50% there are better uses of your time than worrying about equalization.
Thankyou for the reply. Ok , have 10 gauge wire and 180 watts of solar . Just went and changed to every 30 days for the equalization . Played with it and can change to a lot more .I stopped at every 120 days and went back to 30 days . We have the new kid on the block that even respected AM solar uses a lot more now Victron charge controller . I can go up to 16.20 for the equalization if I wanted . I have it set to 15.60 . We live in California with sun just about all the time . We are turning into desert I think even with lizards all over the place. I have the battery tender but was confused on needing it . The solar has been on trailer about 5-6 mo . I knew the WFCO charger wasn't the greatest so that is why I purchased the battery tender for charging . I will change out that charger in trailer someday . I had changed to the Wizard I think it was called when my 19 year old charger died on our camper . It was a easy swap .
So my question is what should I change the equalization days to ? We have 5 year old dual 6 volt batteries . Because the batteries aren't cheap I want to get s much life out of them as possible . Pat
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:53 AM   #19
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What is the actual model of your batteries? GC2-XHD-UTL? U2200?
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:14 PM   #20
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What is the actual model of your batteries? GC2-XHD-UTL? U2200?
I believe GC2-XHD-UTL . Pat
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